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Genesis (Berit Olam Series) Hardcover – April 1, 2003


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Genesis (Berit Olam Series) + Berit Olam: Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy + The Twelve Prophets (Vol. 2): Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi (Berit Olam series)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Any seminarian would glean much insight from this commentary.
Religious Studies Review


Cotter is a pleasant conversation partner in the interpretation of Genesis and offers a wealth of literary insights.
Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society


In this excellent contribution to the Berit Olam series, David Cotter, a Benedictine monk and priest, focuses on the final form of Genesis, using narrative analysis to produce what he considers to be the first commentary to read 'the entire book as a story' (p. xxiv). The volume is peppered with helpful references to literature, Jewish readings, and ancient Christian interpretations.
Interpretation


This work is an invaluable summary of narrative criticism applied to Genesis. . . . Overall this work will be valuable not only to specialists, but also to teachers of introductions to the Hebrew Scriptures who need to draw students into the richness and variety of biblical texts.
Catholic Books Review

About the Author

David W. Cotter, OSB, STD, is general editor of the Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetry series, published by Liturgical Press.
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Product Details

  • Series: Berit Olam
  • Hardcover: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Glazier (April 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814650406
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814650400
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,005,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Marlowe on March 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a great commentary because it takes seriously the literary construction of the Bible. It is not dissecting interspersed verses but rather considering the story as a whole in order to aid our interpretation. It provides very good insights that can easily be lost when we split up the Bible into little pieces. Cotter provides the reader with the context surrounding the Bible and I also found very helpful the sections he included on how some Rabbis and Early Church Christians have interpreted certain passages.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Judy Morishima-Nelson on May 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
While I as a liberation theologian am not usually enthusiastic about literary criticism, Cotter employs it in the service of liberation in this commentary. In the capsule summary of the book in the Eisenbraun's catalog, they state that he traces God's favoritism towards the oppressed throughout the narratives, and indeed this is one of the main foci of the commentary. He starts right out, in page xxv of the Introduction, letting us know that he feels that Israel relates to God in the OT as "One who freely intervenes in history in order to save those in need." Once we realize that this is the motivation for God's actions, we can discern the reasons for his interventions in the narratives of Genesis. For example, in what are usually called the "Patriarchal" narratives of chapters 12-50, Cotter (correctly so, I believe) perceives that the focus of these stories is really on the oppressor/oppressed pairings of the women and children--Hagar and Sarah, Ishmael and Isaac, Jacob and Esau, and Rachel and Leah. As he says on page 87: "These chapters then, when read from this perspective, teach us what is central to God's way of being in the world . . . salvation--creating a place for Hagar, the alien, the homeless woman--for central to God's way of being in the world is justice." And again on 137: "always at the heart of who God is and of the way God relates to the world is justice, care of the foreigner, the orphan, and the widow. So, central to every story in which God is a character are Hagar and Ishmael, or someone like them."
These important connotations of words that are so frequently utilized by Christians such as salvation and justice are sorely needed in these days of abundance of superficial, self-centered Christianity.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By William B. Jones on August 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Delightful" is the word which occurs to me on encountering David Cotter's Genesis commentary. For those who work with the cycle of biblical readings suggested for any given Sunday, it has been a treat to move through the story of Jacob (for example) with so well-read a companion and guide. Thus the author takes us from "Jacob, alone and nowhere, [who] encounters [God] in a dream" (in Genesis 28), to "Jacob, not alone and somewhere, [who now] encounters God face to face," wrestling him 'til dawn at river's edge (Genesis 32). I've heard the stories from childhood on, but to link them this way re-kindles the imagination.

Drawing on Genesis-themed stories ranging from modern literature to ancient Middle Eastern mythology, the commentary provides a number of schematic outlines which highlight structural aspects of the Biblical text. Recommended for general reader, student and pastor alike.
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